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AFC, KPL tussle over Fiamenyo eligibility

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KPL head of logistics and operations Frank Okoth confirmed Fiamenyo will not play despite being cleared and registered by AFC Leopards. PHOTO/courtesy

KPL head of logistics and operations Frank Okoth confirmed Fiamenyo will not play despite being cleared and registered by AFC Leopards. PHOTO/courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12- The eligibility of Ghanaian forward Gilbert Fiamenyo to feature for AFC Leopards in the remaining 11 games of the season is in doubt with the striker yet to be cleared by the league governing body (KPL) despite acquiring his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

Capital Sport understands the player will not be given the green light to play because his transfer was completed outside the KPL transfer window which shut July 2.

KPL head of logistics and operations Frank Okoth confirmed Fiamenyo will not play despite being cleared and registered by AFC Leopards.

“We will not allow him to play because of the integrity of the league otherwise it will be unfair to other teams especially now that the league is coming to an end. He can only start playing next season,” Okoth told confirmed.

Ivan Minnaert, the AFC Leopards coach is dejected over the tussle to allow his new man play.

“We don’t understand this. Why do they not allow him to play and he has already been cleared with an ITC issued? KPL has no reason not to allow him play and if not we will pursue this and even if it means taking it to FIFA, we will do it,” Minnaert said.

The former Hearts of Oak forward joined Leopards on a two-year deal having been a free agent after leaving Ebusua Dwarfs, also playing in the Ghanaian top flight.

AFC Leopards head coach Ivan Minnaert applauding fans in a past SportPesa Premier League match.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

AFC Leopards head coach Ivan Minnaert applauding fans in a past SportPesa Premier League match.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

He was signed by Leopards after Malian striker Ismaila Diarra bolted out of a move to Kenya and extending his contract with Rwandese side Rayon Sport.

Meanwhile, the 13-time league champions will shift their attention to the Premier League with a tough assignment against Kakamega Homeboyz set for Sunday at the Mumias Complex.

This will be the second time in less than a month the two sides are meeting, having played in the GOtv Shield round of 32, Ingwe winning 2-0.

The match comes just a few days after the team jetted back from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where they lost 4-0 to hosts Simba SC in a friendly match.

A section of AFC fans lamented over the importance of the friendly especially coming at a crucial point of the season when the team is faced with tough fixtures in both the league and domestic cup.

But Minnaert believes it was an important match to give playing time to players who haven’t played enough matches in the league and GOtv Shield.

“I can’t say it was bad for us to go there because it is important for learning and have a good test of ourselves. I think it was a very good opportunity for us especially in the second half when we fielded players who have not played enough,” Minnaert pointed out.

“A player like Paul Kiongera played 60 minutes, we also had Tololwa (Andrew) playing 30 minutes and it was great to see them pick up after injuries.”

Placed ninth on the standings on 28 points, Minnaert’s agenda will be to drive the team back into the top half of the table.

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